The Eye of the World: Chapter 26

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Chapter 26: Whitebridge

Val a'Shain

Characters: Bayle Domon, Rand, Mat, Thom, Floran Gelb, Innkeeper Bartim, a Fade

Setting: The Spray travelling the river Arinelle, Whitebridge

Point of view: Rand

Thom is teaching Rand and Mat some of his gleeman skills aboard the Spray. Mat wonders why Thom bothers since neither of them are planning to become a gleeman. Thom raises the question of what Rand and Mat intend to do if they don't find Moiraine in Whitebridge. Before the boys can answer the ship arrives in Whitebridge.

Captain Domon tells Floran Gelb to get off his ship and offers Thom and the boys' passage to Illian if they will keep the crew motivated to work as hard as they have on the way to Whitebridge. Thom wants to take the offer but the boys want to search for Moiraine, so Thom tells Domon he will consider it.

Thom takes Rand and Mat to the town center passing the White Bridge - a remnant form the Age of Legends that gave the town its name. They enter the Wayfarer's Rest and ask Innkeeper Bartim for a place where they can talk in private. Bartim leads them to a table and offers Thom a room and a meal for a good price if he will perform tonight. Thom says he will consider it, and tells the boys when Bartim has gone to get them a drink that the offer is cheap.

When Batrim returns they ask him for news. Bartim tells them about the false Dragon Logain, how he was captured and that he can channel. He also tells them something about the Hunt of the Horn being called in Illian. Thom considers going to Illian again. Rand inquires after their companions while Thom is lost in though for a moment. The inkeeper's reaction to that is peculiar. He wants them to leave as soon as they finish their drinks. After some more questions they learn that both Fain and a Fade inquired after them.

The Innkeeper leaves again and Thom urges the boys to take Domon's offer. Rand and Mat still refuse. Mat is on the brink of violence and clutches his dagger. At that moment they hear Gelb telling stories about Trollocs chasing Domon's ship. Thom now sees himself forced to abandon the plan to go to Illian. Rand and Mat want to know why Thom stays with them. Thom tells him about his nephew Owyn who got in trouble with Aes Sedai. Rand suspects Owyn could channel but Thom doesn't admit that. They decide to sneak out of the inn and make a run for it to Caemlyn.

Thom divides their coin into three shares and they sneak out of the inn. Thom hands Rand his things while he goes to get another cloak to replace his gleeman one. As they head for the road to Caemlyn a Fade appears. Thom turns to face it and tells the boys to run and go to an Inn in Caemlyn called The Queen's Blessing. Rand and Mat hear Thom cry out in pain as they flee towards the Caemlyn road. Mat thinks Thom is dead, but Rand has trouble accepting that.

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